Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with a Bang !

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We did, and I can't believe it is over. We had lots of yummy food and wonderful family gatherings. I have to admit though, that I was tired but had lots of time to rest. What could be better, except our white Christmas turned into a wet , rainy Christmas eve and day....but that's o.k.

I can't believe 2008 is in it's final few hours. Really, where has the year gone ? It was a great year for us, and I look forward to what 2009 has in store. I have a bit of a heavy heart though as 2 very dear friends are entering 2009 with lots of sadness. One lost his dad on Dec. 24th, the other is facing some really tough life changing decisions. It will be a long , rough road for them and I wish I could take away all of their pain, but only time and prayer can heal that.

We are already home from our New Years Celebration at 9:45pm. We went out early with a group of friends and their kids for a great buffet meal. I think there were 20 of us ! Then, we headed back to one of their homes for a enjoyable evening of chatting and munchies.

We decided to come home early as it has started snowing and there is a BLIZZARD WARNING issued for tonight and tomorrow. So, 2008 is going out and 2009 is coming in with a bang, and I'm sure we will hear fireworks as the clock strikes midnight too.

I hope you have an enjoyable and safe New Years Eve. Wishing you all the best for 2009 !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Today is the day that you finally get to enjoy the Parade of Artist's favorite creations graciously hosted by Ellen Borggreve in the Netherlands. Pop over to her blog and see the wonderful parade of bears and friends ! Just click HERE to go directly to the parade.

I chose Soo-Gai as my favorite, althought it was incredibly hard to pick just 1. This was my first open-mouth mink bear and I just love the happy expression on his face. I was really proud of him when he was finally complete. He is named after my favorite Chinese dish too :) I hope you enjoy the Christmas parade !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Power outage

We woke this morning to a very chilly house. It was snowy and VERY windy overnight and this morning. The power went out sometimes in the night and came back on around 11am, then off again , on again , and finally seems to be staying on now at 7pm. Thank goodness we have a woodstove. I would hate to be the power crew climbing those poles in this blustery wind and cold - Yikes.

It was very pretty from my front step last night , even though we couldn't see to the end of the street as the snow whirled around. I think we'll be having a white Christmas. I just hope all those stranded travelers in airports etc. make it home for Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Festive Favorite #4

This is a new Christmas song that I recently discovered . I really like the story it tells , and Natalie Grant has a very beautiful voice. I hope you enjoy it too !

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crafty by Nature

I'm almost ready for Christmas , presents are wrapped, decorations are up , cookies are baked etc. Sheesh, I feel like Martha Stewart LOL. So, I've been in the mood to clean/purge since I cleaned up my craft room last week. I'm having fun as I keep finding things that I had forgotten about. For as long as I can remember, I have loved making things with my hands.

This was one of my paintings, that I just found stashed in my closet. I've never seen a real cardinal, but I think they are very beautiful. I took tole painting lessons for a couple of years before bearmaking. I really enjoy painting , but never take time now that I make bears.

I also found this photo of a horse I made for a lady who wanted one that looked like a horse from the Disney movie, Spirit. I used a barbie sized horse pattern and somehow enlarged on paper to make this beast. It is about 3 feet tall, and was a challenge, but I was so proud when it was finished.

Of course I ALWAYS made my kids halloween costumes when they were younger. that was a lot of fun. I'll have to find some photos.

This next project I made last week using my grandmother's old mason jar . It has cranberries that we picked in Nov. suspended in "cracked ice". Well, not real ice, but cellophane crumpled up and water added to look like ice. A candle is on the top. I think it looks so cool ! I saw a fellow bear artist, Chrissi Catherwood I think, do this without the cellophane and the berries float at the top, which is beautiful too.

Of course crafting has it dangerous side too ! Like the time when I was 8 and decided to make a craft project using a piece of a log. I took a hatchet and chopped at the my barefeet.....and missed the log, nearly removing a toe..... poor mother wisked me off to the emergency for stitches! I'm more careful now LOL :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dental Devices = FRAGILE

Remember I mentioned my son got his braces off in November ? Well, he has a retainer that he must wear at all times (except when eating) for several months. I have been nagging him, yes nagging, to keep it in the protective case whenever he takes it out of his mouth.

Guess what.....he chose not to listen , insisting "nothing will happen". Last night the inevitable happened. He put it in his hoodie pocket, it fell out and he stepped on it. CRACK...broken in 1/2. He told me 2 hours later after he tried to super glue it back together LOL. I can laugh now, it wasn't funny at the time. Off we go to the dentist today to get fitted for a new one. Oh, it is only $300 to replace :(

NOTE: Dental Devices are Fragile Son -that's why they give you a storage case and nagging mother to go with it !
But, I am refusing to let this ruin my day. I think I'll wrap Christmas presents and play some wonderful music.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meet Beau

Beau is the finished bear that I was working on the other day. He is a wee 5.5" standing . He was just listed on my website and immediately found a new home. I am excited that Garland was also adopted at the same time by this collector so off they go together to Australia. I wish I could go too. I dream of visiting OZ one day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The monkey is finally GONE !

I am so relieved ...are you wondering what I am talking about LOL ? Remember that photo I shared of my disasterous sewing room. That mess really became a "monkey on my back". You know, that nagging problem that just weighs you down and creates a real burden and stress. Every time I walked into that room I could feel myself tense up.

The mood to tackle it struck , and I am happy to say that after 6 hours of purging stuff, cleaning, re-organizing etc the "monkey" is really gone. I gave away 4 garbage bags of fabric and craft supplies to goodwill, and threw out 3 bags of useless bits of things. You have to realize that loving crafts results in tons of supplies over the years. For example...I've tried ...
Oil painting,Tole Painting,Rubber Stamping,Scrapbooking,Sewing,Embroidery,Cross-stitch,Knitting,Crocheting,Clay/sculpting,silk screening etc etc....the list goes on !

Now when I walking into this room it makes me feel REALLY good. It sounds silly, but eveything is neat and organized so I hope I can keep it this way. Sure, I would still love to paint, re-decorate, have fancy storage units and matching baskets but I can be happy in my little space just as it is .

Now, I can actually sleep in my bedroom without bear supplies glaring at me !

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Festive Favorite #3

Here is another one of my favorite Christmas songs, Angels We Have Heard On High, sung by Chris Tomlin. Enjoy.

Oh, and my bear is almost done. I plan to post it my website Sunday evening , time to be determined later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Last Bear for 2008

I think I can squeeze just one more little bear in before I have to pack it in for 2008. I got all of my Christmas shopping completed yesterday, so I started on this bear last night. It will be another mini mink if all goes as planned. I hope to work on it all day today if my hands don't cramp too much. I expect it will be done by the weekend at the latest.

After that, I better haul out the decorations and wrapping paper before Santa catches me unprepared for his arrival :)

Monday, December 8, 2008


My kids are very happy campers is closed for a snow day. It rained all day yesterday so this was a bit of a surprise this morning. Actually there isn't that much snow, but it is very icy and the roads/sidewalks weren't plowed in time. I think we'll make it a Christmas cookie baking day, shortbreads maybe -yum ! Of course, the shoveling must be done first so off I go out into the coooollllllddd LOL.

It does look very Christmas like. Even my Christmas cactus is blooming on time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Festive Favorite #2

Is it really friday already- wow. Here is another of my favorite Christmas songs sung by a great Canadian musician, Michael Bublé . I hope you enjoy this one !

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Angus

Angus is available on my website.
EDITED: Wow, there was a lot of interest in this little fella. Angus quickly found a new mom whose brother has the same name ironically !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A sneek peek

I couldn't resist posting a little teaser before the "reveal" of my newest bear tomorrow at 10am Atlantic:)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Smallest mink bear yet

I have been working on a new mink pattern the past few days , my smallest ever. It actually started out to be just a bear head for an ornament. I decided to challenge myself to make a body and limbs. The bear is almost complete and measures 5.25" standing and 4" sitting. That's almost a inch shorter than my bear McIntosh. It may qualify as a mini depending on the size limit. Some say 4" and under, others say 6".

I had to do a lot of handstitching on this one as the machine just didn't work well with small , thick pieces. I seem to be getting a lot more hand cramps and tingling/numbness when I handstitch or use the computer mouse. I am wondering if it is the beginning of carpal tunnel problems-eek. I read that it is very common in people who sew.

This bear will be available on my wesbite on Thursday. I'll let you know the exact time I'll be posting it there when I get photos dones.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A turn of events !

Well, what a crazy day this is turning out to be. Certainly worthy of 2 posts in one day.

I just found out that I was the lucky winner of a gorgeous handmade Annie and mini bear that can be seen here. It was made by a wonderful fellow bear artist, Shantell , of Apple Dumpling Bears. I really like her creations and can't believe I won.

Wow, what a happy turn of events in my day that started out so miserable. Thank you so much Shantell for having this giveaway.

So frustrated I could cry !!!

I've had a rotten start this monday morning.

1) To start off, the power must have gone off in the night so my clock was wrong. I thought I had 5 hours left of sleep......not ! I could have used it this morning. I'm not a morning person either.

2)Then, I had to reboot my computer 3 times to get it to work somewhat right this morning . I upgraded firefox yesterday and it keeps crashing my computer.

3) My husband just called from the garage to tell me that something is wrong with the car , and asked me to pick him up. Remember I mentioned the tow truck the other day.....well that was for our old van that had died in the driveway.

4) I just went out to get in the newly repaired van to rescue my husband and take him to work. Well......when I went outside the van was actually trying to start ALL BY ITSELF. I heard the noise earlier, but though it was my neighbour trying to start his truck. That was very freaky -must be some conflict with the new starter and electric starter we never use ! I think it is possessed. I stuck the key in the ignition to stop the horrid noise it was making and the van died yet again :(

5)I called my hubby back and he just showed up in the car. He got the van to start , but off it goes to the garage to be checked out again. Evidently the car is drivable if you ignore the loud crash, bang boom it makes sometimes. But it will have to see the car doctor tomorrow . I'm off to drive him to work so I can have the car to chauffeur the kids later today.

All this and it is only 8:30am. Maybe I will go back to bed for those hours I thought I lost :( It's a rainy dark day so maybe I'll stay in and sew.
Thanks for letting me rant....I feel much better :) I know all this is trivial stuff in the big picture, and I am thankful that we have all these luxuries, but sometimes it just drives me batty !

I hope you have a sunny, happy day where you are :)